Swinging Over Difficult Terrain

”Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” Romans 14:13

”Let us, therefore, make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19

There is this great little park on the way to the coast that we have enjoyed for many years. It is so peaceful and one of my favorite places to photograph. This beautiful little stream and gorgeous forest align the waterside and provide a great place for the kids to run around and climb through the trees. In the above photo, the kids had to jump up, grab ahold of a tree limb, swing across the water and help each other climb up the embankment. One right after the other; until all five cousins had safely ventured through the obstacle course finally standing arm in arm congratulating one another. What a fun and special memory that was captured in this photo.

Our lives are filled with obstacles of many variations: the birth of a child, loss of a loved one, a celebration of an anniversary, the heartache of divorce, an illness, the report of good health, a new home, a lost job, etc… We have all experienced successes and disappointments. Personally, I have been through obstacles that make my head spin when I reflect on where I’ve been. Let’s just say that instead of swinging across the stream as some people would do, I’ve had to wade through the waters, getting wet and shivering cold. Some people around me have helped me across, while others have thrown stones. They had decided that since I wasn’t crossing the stream of life like they would, in their misjudgment, I was not doing it correctly. Being misunderstood certainly hurts. However, through experiencing this misstep myself, I wonder how many times I have misjudged and hurt another.

God’s Word tells us not to judge one another but to help one another which leads to peace and mutual edification. We are to set aside our differences, raise, uplift and encourage one another. If we see someone jumping up to a new branch or swinging over difficult terrain, let us lend a helping hand. We do not know the obstacles they have come from or the ones they are struggling through. It may just be your smile, prayer, encouraging word, meal, card or text that helps them up the embankment onto stable ground.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we come before You, eager to follow Your edification. We desire peace in our lives and with each other. Please help us to see how to lend a helping hand and to encourage one another. Help us to be more like your Son each step we take. In His precious name, Amen.